South Africa: July Hotel, Food and Beverage Data Highlight Lockdown's Mounting Economic Costs

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The third quarter of 2020 began on 1 July and data show some sectors picking up pace after the hard lockdown to contain the Covid-19 pandemic and the second quarter's annualised 51% contraction. But things remained bleak on the hotel accommodation and food and beverage front.

Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) released two data sets for July on Monday 21 September that underscored the costs of lockdown to sectors that remained in effect shut down even as other parts of the economy were rebooting.

"Measured in nominal terms (current prices), total income for the tourist accommodation industry decreased by 88.3% in July 2020 compared with July 2019. Income from accommodation decreased by 90.5% year on year in July 2020," Stats SA said.

This comes as no surprise, but it highlights the pandemic's unequal effects on various economic sectors. Retail trade sales, for example, released earlier in September, showed a 9% decrease in July compared with the same period in 2019, while July manufacturing production fell 10.6%.

Stats SA also published July food and beverages data on Monday. It showed total income generated by the food and beverages industry down by 52.6% versus the previous July, with bar sales plummeting 95.1%....

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